Grain shipments flowing again

Record shipments to West Coast | Deliveries hustle through system after months of delay

The stubborn clog that was plugging Western Canada’s grain export pipeline last winter has finally been flushed through the system. Millions of tonnes of western Canadian grain that were stuck on prairie farms for most of the winter are now flowing steadily through export terminals at Thunder Bay, Vancouver and Prince Rupert. On the West […] Read more

Railways exceed car requirements

Canadian National Railway has surpassed Ottawa’s expectations and is now aiming to move close to 6,000 hopper cars of western Canadian grain per week, according to the company’s president and chief executive officer. Claude Mongeau said CN hopper car deliveries to western Canadian grain elevators during the month of May averaged 5,500 cars per week […] Read more

Backlog in grain, backlog in democracy

Believe it or not, there is a relationship between the backlog in prairie grain and the Fair Elections Act. Here’s how. As prairie farmers wait anxiously for the backlog in grain transportation to be resolved and for prices that at least cover the cost of production, agriculture minister Gerry Ritz and friends continue to meet […] Read more

Would cap removal help farmers?

Be careful what you wish for | Critics say cap removal won’t boost efficiency, just rail profits

Grain groups should reconsider their calls for an end to the railway revenue cap, says a grain transportation expert. “I would urge caution on the part of anybody who is looking to take away the revenue cap,” said Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corp., the government appointed monitor of Canada’s prairie grain handling and transportation […] Read more

Rail service gets Ottawa’s ear

Parliament to hear complaints | Car shortages, unsatisfactory service cause food supply issues

As Parliament opens a new session next week, the government can expect political pressure over inadequate rail service that has left many prairie farmers unable to deliver their crop. Grain Growers of Canada wrote a letter to the minister last week urging the Conservative government to “seriously assess the evolving rail capacity issues for Canadian […] Read more

Grain handling fees skyrocket

Farmers left with the bill | Increases in outward inspection fees expected to rise by $17 million

Individual grain growers will pay thousands of dollars more in annual Canadian Grain Commission user fees starting in the new crop year. However, one grower group says the fight isn’t over. Bill C-45, which comes into effect Aug. 1, eliminates the need for inward grain inspection, greatly increases the cost of outward inspection and places […] Read more

Parties promise to play nice on rail bill — for now

Gov’t introduces rail service legislation | Opposition parties have misgivings that they’ll raise once bill reaches committee

All parties in Parliament are pledging fast approval-in-principle for rail service legislation that would give commodity shippers the right to demand a level-of-service agreement with carriers. Debate on Bill C-52 began Feb. 1 and continues this week with a general pledge of early co-operation and fast initial approval. The government has made the bill a […] Read more

Weather blamed for port delays

Heavy rains cause backlog | Boats cannot be loaded during rain, hefty demurrage fees mounting

Heavy rain has bogged down vessel loading at Canada’s top grain exporting port, which industry executives say could affect grain flow and prices. Vancouver is always rainy in the winter, but this year has been exceptionally wet. The soggy weather has caused long delays in vessel loading and a backlog of ships. Quinton Stewart, a […] Read more

Richardson tries its first Churchill run

Wheat destined for Colombia | Company says CWB changes open up new marketing opportunities

The shipping season at Churchill is underway and changes to the CWB and a federal incentive to keep the grain moving are having an effect. A $9 per tonne federal government incentive makes shipping out of the northern port more attractive. Churchill provides the shortest shipping distance to Europe from a Canadian port capable of […] Read more